"YELLOW, FROM REJECTION TO SOLAR FLARE" - CHAPEL
Because it is widely available, the pigment yellow ochre was one of the first colours used in art, as revealed by the painted caves of the Palaeolithic period. Still present in Pompeian paintings, it was not until the Middle Ages that it was depreciated: associated with Judas Iscariot, it was used to identify all the outcasts of society. And this was to last for several centuries.
In the 18th century, and especially in the 19th century, the trend was reversed: yellow represented radiance, light, the sun, as Van Gogh put it from Arles: "Now we have beautiful, warm, windless weather that benefits me enormously, sunshine, light that, for want of a better word, I cannot call yellow, brilliant sulphur yellow, pale lemon gold, how beautiful yellow is!
The 20th century continued the blaze of sunlight.
Cycle: Colour in Western painting over the centuries
Colour. What a vast subject, given the fundamental role it plays in art! It is perhaps what we first perceive in a work and, as Delacroix said, "colour is par excellence the part of art that possesses the magic gift. Whereas subject, form and line are primarily addressed to the mind, colour has no meaning for the intellect, but has all the power over the senses".
This series takes a close look at colours in Western painting over the centuries, selecting them one by one to show their specific use in different periods.
Lecturer: Marie-Laure Ruiz-Maugis, art historian
- The 15 May 2024 at 17:00